Musings

Lheang, my Hero

As you all know I have just returned back after volunteering in a school in Cambodia. This story is about a student Thoch Chorlheang and my special bond with him.

It was my first day at school as a volunteer teacher in a new town of a new country. I felt like a kid who was going to start his first ever day of education. Lack of a common language had made me both excited and nervous. I was wondering how I am going to communicate with students who understood very little or no English.
I had already charted out a rough plan of my way of teaching after meeting with people at the NGO who had apprised me of students’ current level of knowledge of English.

Here in school, after the customary round of greetings and introductions, all students settled in their respective seats. As the normal scene in any class, I could see them whispering and discussing me. Ignoring them, as I started discussing about the curriculum and related stuff with their regular teacher, I heard a voice.

lheang my hero @lemonicks.com

One of my classes.

Sitting restless

Living an expat life

Living an expat life

As I sip Chinese tea sitting in my balcony, I try to look back at the time spent in this country.

I live in an urbanized village of Siem Reap, Cambodia. There is no electricity in the area for last 3 hours and I am told that around 6 years back they had electricity for only 3-4 hours a day. It’s quite an improvement, they say. The morning is not very hot … a cloudy day again.

Living an expat life in cambodia @lemonicks.com

Awesome Sun emerging, overpowering the dark night.

The tea is prepared on a small gas camp stove; the only stove I have for cooking. I gaze into my cup. The tea is almost colorless and tasteless without milk or sugar… does it remind me of something? Is it like my life here in Cambodia?

Negotiating

The Year That Was 2011

The Year That Was 2011
Another year. Another set of to-dos. And a time to look back and take stock …
Yes, I know I am late to do this post but by only a few days and since I am travelling, I can be excused. 😛

Sometimes we travel to too many places and at times we don’t have enough.
The year 2011 started in the Philippines. We celebrated our Christmas & new year in that country. Besides the capital Manila, we could explore some part of it but Batad was a place which left mark on my life. However, as I always say, any place on this earth can never be counted as ‘done’.

The year 2011 was not very good in terms of travel. There were always some issues cropping up and I had to cut short or cancel many trips either midway or before the start irrespective of the locale, foreign or Indian.
This time when I was about to leave India, my doctor, instead of telling, asked me “Are you fit to travel?”. So, that’s about it.

Anyway, I’ll let the pictures speak of the places I visited in the year 2011. I think I did more than this. If anyone of you recall, please let me know. I always think I have more memories than photos of a place.

Batad.

hiking in Batad @lemonicks.com
Looks easy? It is world’s one of the most difficult places for hiking and any other

Off to some VolunTourism

Starting tomorrow morning I am off to South east Asia for over 3 months. Cambodia, Malaysia and probably Thailand or Singapore. Not yet decided, not yet planned.

Mumbai from above @lemonicks.com

That’s aerial view of Mumbai

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.. — Winston Churchill

As a responsible traveller, I strongly believe in giving back something to the society.
I have done this before and will do so in future also. This time I will be engaged in volunteer work with an NGO in Cambodia for about 3 months.

If you are raising your eyebrows with a “What’s in it for you?” … then no, I won’t get any monetary benefits. I will have to pay for my accommodation, food, insurances and transport, visa etc. And I am not sure what kind of accommodation is in store for me… whether it is a dorm or a hotel room, I do not know. I have requested them to look for a place with wi-fi and cooking facility; yet to hear from them.

This work will give me a chance to experience and learn about the people and culture of Cambodia. More than anything, this will give

Year 2010 in travel

Warning: This is a colorful post. 🙂
Before I start writing about my recent trip of Philippines and Malaysia, I thought it better to recollect how was the year 2010 for me in terms of travel.
I think I will skip some of domestic travels since a few of them happened in a jiffy and I do not remember the details now. Also, I am not counting the local exploration of lesser known places of my town such as watching Flamingos at Sewri fort.

@lemonicks.com

Flamingos enjoying their meals.

The year started with a trip to

Of my absence …

So, I went on another solo backpacking trip. This time it was interiors of Tamil Nadu where language was as big a barrier as was the place for me. Backpacking to remote places has its own charm & toll. V was apprehensive of this trip but I assured him.
I love challenges and almost had my way until the last phase when some small bloody creatures on this earth defeated me. My ever sharp German knife or any other defense tactics couldn’t defend me from them. 😛

Yeah, I was attacked by Dengue and first 3 days I kept suppressing high fever by taking paracetamol thinking it just another fever. By the time I was back to Mumbai & got my tests done, I was advised immediate hospitalization. Took 2nd & 3rd opinion … no luck… all inhumane torturous doctors wanted to chain me to hospital bed. 😀
Anyway, not going in detail as how many times they sucked blood out of my veins on pretext of checking something or the other and for your info,

Random travel related rants – III

I found 2 pieces of scribblings in my notepad; one written during my trip and one a week after I landed here. I have to publish them before it is too late. I’ve merged the both hoping it still makes some sense to people who are intently following this blog.

Attention new readers, please go through part I & part II before reading this.

• After a few days of backpacking, you don’t bother if your clothes

Random travel related rants – II

Again some scattered thoughts and moments.

• I have lost track of days. I don’t know which day of the week is today unless I purposely try to find out.
• I have lost inches. All my pants are loose by at least 1.5″.
• I am not writing any stories here anymore. They are personal and boring. Only I can relate, feel and live to them. So, here I’ll talk about my general experiences and learnings.

@lemonicks.com/Travel

Replica in front of the actual one.

• My experience as a lone woman traveler… Thailand is more